Lord, as I come before you today, speak truth into my heart so that I may live to honor you.
Stephen took his faith seriously. He was so convinced of Christ’s saving power that he was willing to die for what he believed. As he was being stoned to death, Stephen’s gaze was on heaven and Jesus. We know that a person’s worship is always towards the object of his or her affection. What was it about Jesus and the message that he preached that made Stephen willing to give it all up, even his life? Those stones were not small pebbles being thrown at Stephen; those stones were large rocks that were meant to maim and mutilate his body. The excruciating death Stephen suffered is a testimony of how worthy he considered Christ to be.
We sing, “Open the eyes of my heart” asking God to let us turn our gaze upon Jesus who died for our sins. Stephen’s witness and martyrdom demonstrate that Jesus was truly the object of his worship.
Are you gazing on the Lord with the eyes of your heart? If not, how can you refocus your gaze in order to get back to worshiping the true and living, loving God?
Re-examine the object of your worship. If you are worshiping anyone or anything other than God, God is not pleased. But, if you look to the God of heaven and the Lord of your heart, he will comfort you in times of trial, as he did in Stephen’s life and death.
Jesus, remove the things from my life that are distractions. Keep my eyes focused on you so I will keep looking to you for guidance and direction in all things.